World IP Day: Green Initiatives for India

Published: May 15, 2020

Mohan Dewan R. K. Dewan & Co. Mumbai, India INTA Bulletins Committee - Asia-Pacific Subcommittee

On the occasion of World Intellectual Property Day, INTA and the Cell for IPR Promotion and Management (CIPAM) co-organized a virtual India roundtable on April 27, on this year’s theme of “Innovate for a Green Future.”  The panelists agreed that although the legal framework for a green India is adequate, it can be made progressive and standardized to ensure better results.

Tanya Varma, Fidus Law Chambers (India), welcomed the audience and introduced Murlidhar Balasubramanian, Brands India, Castrol India Ltd., as the moderator. More than 100 people participated.

Chetan Maini, co-founder and vice chairman of Sun Mobility, recounted an incident of racing a solar-powered car across Australia at the age of 20, which led to his focus in the field of clean energy and the invention of the Reva electric car. He also referred to India’s National Intellectual Property Rights Policy of 2016, which includes incentives for green technologies in India. He also stressed the need for supportive infrastructure and an enabling ecosystem from the ground up in order to see big change. Addressing India’s opportunity to embrace clean energy, he emphasized the importance of shared mobility and transportation. He stated that along with a green disposition, a better value proposition is equally important to effect change.

Sudhir Sitapati, executive director of Foods & Refreshment at Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL), cited, inter alia, HUL’s decision to endorse soaps of all other brands in the wake of COVID-19 in its advertisements for Lifebuoy soap. This was an idea propagated by a different advertising agency than the one used by the company, and was adopted because the value proposition of the product—to protect from germs—was of greater significance. He also spoke about how sustainability targets were impacting promotion and bonuses within the organization. He explained that for HUL, green means focusing on water, plastics, carbon footprint, and sustainable farming.

Ghanashyam Hegde, general counsel and director, Indian Sub-Continent, Procter & Gamble, talked about adaptability and application of green proposals across various industries. He also spoke of the various green initiatives being carried out at Procter & Gamble, including innovation in detergents to reduce water consumption by 50 percent, waterless transportation of products, and energy consumption savings.

The panelists said they would like to see green tribunals operate throughout India, rather than only the National Green Tribunal at Delhi.

In closing, Mr. Balasubramanian remarked on how India could not afford to be or think in isolation anymore. A Q&A followed, discussing many topics, including: the role of artificial intelligence in green technologies, optimizing the use of big data, replacement of multilayer plastics and petrochemicals, sharing of confidential information, and strategies for brands to maintain trust among consumers during these trying times.

Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of items in the INTA Bulletin, readers are urged to check independently on matters of specific concern or interest.

© 2020 International Trademark Association